What customers want and expect


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Your company's customer service can make a difference. Of nearly 1,000 consumers surveyed, 92% say they would stop buying from a business after three or fewer customer service experiences. Twenty-six percent of them would stop after one bad experience. That's what gladly says & nbsp;2018 Survey of Customer Service Expectations. The numbers are known and the statistics and facts are a compelling argument. If you have not honed your customer service efforts, you may be facing a dark future.

Customers are waiting more than ever. I've already written about it in previous articles, but that deserves to be repeated. Your customers no longer compare you to your direct competition. You are compared to the best service they received from a company or a person. It could be a seller, a retail store, even an online seller – all business. Customers now know what excellent customer service looks like and they expect it from you.

What else do the customers expect from them?

  • Zero Repeats: When there is a problem, they only want to tell their story once. They do not want to repeat it to several customer service agents. In addition, if the client files an online complaint with a chatbot, an agent who takes over should ask questions about the complaint and not ask the client to repeat the story. Customers expect no reps, one answer and multiple channels. According to the survey, 71% want a consistent experience across all channels, but only 29% benefit from it.
  • Personalized service: Previously, customers wanted a quick response to their questions or complaints. Now they want the experience to be personalized. Sixty-one percent of the respondents felt that they were treated as numbers of cases rather than people. This must stop. The survey found that 59% of clients said that being treated as an individual was more important than the speed with which the problem was solved (53%). The numbers are close, but the fact is that customers want to be treated as people, not by account numbers. And if you can offer both speed and customization, you get a winning combination.
  • Skip the IVR: The interactive voice response systems used by many companies are a major source of frustration for customers. Ninety-eight percent of clients try to pass the IVR. The three terms most used by callers to bypass the computerized support are representative, Customer service and living person.
  • Consistent answers: Seventy-six percent of customers receive conflicting responses from different support agents when they ask the same questions. It's a real dilemma. This creates confusion and a loss of customer confidence. It is not uncommon to hear customers say that if they do not appreciate a response from a support representative, they hang up, call back and present the same question to another representative. There is an old saying that madness does the same thing over and over again and expects a different result. Unfortunately, with many help centers, this type of irrationality and inconsistency exists.

Some of those who read these statistics may be concerned. Are customer expectations met? Well, there is good news for those who can meet the ever-increasing expectations of customers that customers are willing to pay for a good service. Since the beginning of my career in customer service, I firmly believe that a good service does not cost. It pays.

  • Customers come back and pay more: Customers reward companies they love to do business with – and pay more. The survey indicates that 68% would pay more for the company that provides excellent service. Thirty-three percent would pay between 1 and 9% more. Twenty-seven percent would pay 10 to 20% more. And 8% would be willing to pay more than 20% more if the service was excellent.
  • Customers are talking about you: Another good news, the strength of a good experience exceeds the current customer. Eighty percent of customers will recommend a business to their friends and family after an exceptional customer experience. And 40% of these satisfied customers will share their story on social media. But there are consequences to pay if the experience is less than brilliant. Sixty-seven percent said they would actively "dissuade" others from using a company that provided poor service, and 42 percent said the story was negative on social media.

What does this mean for us? None of this information should surprise you. It's just a validation of the importance of providing a customer service experience desired and expected by your customers. Meet the expectations and reap the rewards of business fidelity, referrals and rising incomes.

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Your company's customer service can make a difference. Of nearly 1,000 consumers surveyed, 92% say they would stop buying from a business after three or fewer customer service experiences. Twenty-six percent of them would stop after one bad experience. This is reflected in Gladly's 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey. The numbers are known and the statistics and facts are a compelling argument. If you have not honed your customer service efforts, you may be facing a dark future.

Customers are waiting more than ever. I've already written about it in previous articles, but that deserves to be repeated. Your customers no longer compare you to your direct competition. You are compared to the best service they received from a company or a person. It could be a seller, a retail store, even an online seller – all business. Customers now know what excellent customer service looks like and they expect it from you.

What else do the customers expect from them?

  • Zero Repeats: When there is a problem, they only want to tell their story once. They do not want to repeat it to several customer service agents. In addition, if the client files an online complaint with a chatbot, an agent who takes over should ask questions about the complaint and not ask the client to repeat the story. Customers expect no reps, one answer and multiple channels. According to the survey, 71% want a consistent experience across all channels, but only 29% benefit from it.
  • Personalized service: Previously, customers wanted a quick response to their questions or complaints. Now they want the experience to be personalized. Sixty-one percent of the respondents felt that they were treated as numbers of cases rather than people. This must stop. The survey found that 59% of clients said that being treated as an individual was more important than the speed with which the problem was solved (53%). The numbers are close, but the fact is that customers want to be treated as people, not by account numbers. And if you can offer both speed and customization, you get a winning combination.
  • Skip the IVR: The interactive voice response systems used by many companies are a major source of frustration for customers. Ninety-eight percent of clients try to pass the IVR. The three terms most used by callers to bypass the computerized support are representative, Customer service and living person.
  • Consistent answers: Seventy-six percent of customers receive conflicting responses from different support agents when they ask the same questions. It's a real dilemma. This creates confusion and a loss of customer confidence. It is not uncommon to hear customers say that if they do not appreciate a response from a support representative, they hang up, call back and present the same question to another representative. There is an old saying that madness does the same thing over and over again and expects a different result. Unfortunately, with many help centers, this type of irrationality and inconsistency exists.

Some of those who read these statistics may be concerned. Are customer expectations met? Well, there is good news for those who can meet the ever-increasing expectations of customers that customers are willing to pay for a good service. Since the beginning of my career in customer service, I firmly believe that a good service does not cost. It pays.

  • Customers come back and pay more: Customers reward companies they love to do business with – and pay more. The survey indicates that 68% would pay more for the company that provides excellent service. Thirty-three percent would pay between 1 and 9% more. Twenty-seven percent would pay 10 to 20% more. And 8% would be willing to pay more than 20% more if the service was excellent.
  • Customers are talking about you: Another good news, the strength of a good experience exceeds the current customer. Eighty percent of customers will recommend a business to their friends and family after an exceptional customer experience. And 40% of these satisfied customers will share their story on social media. But there are consequences to pay if the experience is less than brilliant. Sixty-seven percent said they would actively "dissuade" others from using a company that provided poor service, and 42 percent said the story was negative on social media.

What does this mean for us? None of this information should surprise you. It's just a validation of the importance of providing a customer service experience desired and expected by your customers. Meet the expectations and reap the rewards of business fidelity, referrals and rising incomes.